The Odds of Beating Prostate Cancer

Patients face 27% risk of cancer spread, study finds

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TUESDAY, May 13, 2003 (HealthDayNews) -- Men with prostate cancer face a 27 percent probability that they'll develop metastatic cancer within seven years of their initial diagnosis.

That finding comes from researchers at the University of California-Davis Cancer Center and five other institutions in the United States.

And men with metastatic cancer have a tenfold greater risk of dying than men whose cancer is confined to the prostate, says the study, presented recently at the annual meeting of the American Urological Association in Chicago.

There's more bad news. The study found men with metastatic cancer faced $13,650 more in medical bills, almost twice as high as men with localized prostate cancer, the study found. Total costs were $30,626, compared to $16,676.

Researchers analyzed the medical records of 2,056 Detroit men treated for prostate cancer between 1995 and 2000. The overall death rate was 9 percent, but men with metastatic cancer had a death rate 10 times greater than those with localized prostate cancer.

When they looked for links between cancer progression and the first-line treatment methods, the researchers found the initial treatment for prostate cancer didn't influence the rate of metastasis.

"This high probability of metastatic progression we observed underscores the need for improved treatments to reduce the rate of metastases and death from this disease," UC Davis researcher Christopher Evans says in a news release.

More information

Here's where you can learn more about prostate cancer.

SOURCE: University of California-Davis, news release, April 27, 2003

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